Who We Are

Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Finnish Nazi Party Fails in Registration Attempt

The Finnish National Socialist Workers’ Party, otherwise known as Finland’s Nazi party, has failed to complete the registration process for associations. Finland’s National Board of Patents and Registration (PRH) stopped the application process after asking for revisions and additional information.

The PRH set a May 16 deadline for the party to make the changes required. Among other things, the party was asked to clarify their ideological purpose. The PRH asked for the party to provide greater precision in its rules, and to clarify what exactly national socialism means, according to regional newspaper Savon Sanomat.

The PRH has not made a decision on whether or not the party can register as an association, as the deadline lapsed. The party can not apply to the Interior Ministry to join the register of the official political parties unless it successfully becomes an association. The party can submit another application.


Flemish move for Nazi collaboration amnesty widens rift in Belgium

Far-right party's motion erects another obstacle to forming a national government and ending country's political crisis

One more example of the communal divisions in Belgium – and yet another obstacle to negotiations to form a government – has arisen.

On 12 May, the 333rd day of Belgium's political crisis, all the mainstream Flemish parties, apart from the Greens, supported a motion by the far-right Vlaams Belang party advocating an amnesty for those who collaborated with the Nazi occupation in 1940-45. The bill suggests effacing all the effects of "sentences and sanctions inflicted on the grounds of alleged breaches of public loyalty". It proposes compensation for "financial prejudice" suffered by "victims of postwar repression or their descendants".

Flemish-speaking far-right parties have been battling for almost 20 years for an amnesty. Until now all the proposals by Vlaams Belang, which is largely isolated, have failed. But when the Flemish Social-Democrats (SP.a) decided to endorse the proposal it opened the way for the Flemish majority in the upper house to authorise a debate. Parliament had previously refused to entertain the idea. "In these difficult times it is particularly worrying that this rule should have been broken," said Philippe Mahoux, a Walloon Socialist (PS) party senator. "It is a major obstacle in the path of those who want to establish stable government," said Francis Delpérée, a member of the centrist CDH party.

Armed collaboration with Germany involved roughly equal numbers from the Walloon and Flemish communities, but political collaboration was more extensive in Flanders. where the Nazis awarded privileges such as releasing prisoners of war and placing militants of the Vlaams Nationaal Verbond, a nationalist pro-collaboration party, in positions of authority in Flemish localities, according to the writer Charles Bricman. In 1943 about 2,000 collaborators enrolled in the Walloon Legion, almost 3,000 in its Flemish counterpart. Nearly 14,000 Belgians fought in the Wehrmacht under German colours. The move looks like a warning to French-speaking politicians suspected of holding up negotiations to end the political stalemate. It might even herald a repeat of the events of 2007, when in the course of committee proceedings in parliament the Flemish majority unanimously voted to split the bilingual Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde district.

Almost four years later the situation has hardly changed. After countless attempts, King Albert II is once more holding talks, after Wouter Beke, the latest in a long line of negotiators, asked on 12 May to be relieved of his duties. After more than two months' discussions the leader of the Flemish Christian Democrat (CD&V) party delivered a thick document to the head of state which, he says, contains the basis for possible agreement.

None of the players seems to believe a solution is possible and the Crown obstinately refuses to consider another election. According to the commentators, the most likely outcome is a negotiated partition of the country, which might also take ages.

 The Guardian

Bulgarian Govt with Hands Off Far Right despite New Mosque Rallies - Report

Bulgaria's far-right and nationalist party Ataka is getting ready to stage a new protest rally during the Friday prayer at the Sofia Mosque Banya Bashi.

According to unconfirmed reports, Ataka, whose activists shocked Bulgaria by assaulting praying Muslims in the Sofia mosque last Friday during a rally protesting against the loudspeakers of the mosque, are getting ready for a new rally just a week later.

The Ataka party has not confirmed the reports. However, there are indications that the Sofia Municipality and Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, a representative of the ruling party GERB, who can technically ban the provocative rally, will adopt a hands-off policy.

The reason for that is that by banning the rally of the nationalist party Ataka, which is the only ally, though an informal one, of the ruling center-right party GERB, the Sofia Municipality might lead Ataka leader Volen Siderov to withdraw support from the minority government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

GERB has 117 MPs out of 240, and Ataka's 21 MPs provide it with a comfortable majority, after the rightist Blue Coalition with its 14 MPs declared itself to be in opposition. One of the reason Borisov did not make a formal coalition with Ataka, in addition to his widely proclaim desire not to be dependent on coalition partners, is the protest of the European People's Party, of which GERB is a member.

Siderov has threatened Borisov he will stop backing the government unless the authorities took measures to investigate what he claims to be a "nest of radical Islamism" in the Sofia mosque.

Borisov himself and his party GERB initially denounced the actions of their ally; however, Borisov subsequently sought to downplay Friday's incident, saying that the nationalist party Ataka and the ethnic Turkish party DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) are both going down the same road by seeking to pump up their electoral support through incidents with propaganda effect.

If the government collapses, this would mean early elections prepared by a caretaker Cabinet to be appointed by President Georgi Parvanov, a Socialist and major rival of PM Borisov.

Informal reports indicate that while Borisov's party is considering causing early elections, they want to avoid holding a vote on the terms of a caretaker Cabinet appointed by Parvanov, whose term expires in January 2012. Bulgaria is holding presidential and local elections in the fall of 2011, most likely in October.


U.N. rights chief raps Australia on refugees, racism

The United Nations' top human rights watchdog on Wednesday attacked Australia's tough refugee policies and the treatment of outback Aborigines, saying there was a strong undercurrent of racism in the country.

Long-standing policies of locking up asylum seekers had "cast a shadow over Australia's human rights record", and appeared to be completely arbitrary, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said.

"I come from South Africa and lived under this, and am every way attuned to seeing racial discrimination," Pillay, a former anti-apartheid campaigner and international criminal court judge, told reporters at the end of a six-day visit.

"There is a racial discriminatory element here which I see as rather inhumane treatment of people, judged by their differences, racial, colour or religions," she said.

Pillay held talks on Wednesday with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and expressed deep concern about the minority Labor government's latest plan to send hundreds of asylum seekers to Malaysia for refugee processing, hoping to appease voter concern about asylum seekers arriving by boat.

The government has been struggling to handle the flow of illegal immigrants and earlier this month said it had struck a deal with Kuala Lumpur to ensure asylum-seekers caught heading to Australia would be sent to Malaysia, which is not a signatory of the U.N. refugee convention.

More than 900 people, mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka, have arrived in Australia so far this year, while 134 boats carrying 6,535 people turned up last year, prompting the government to harden immigration policy.

While Pillay's criticism may cause Australia some discomfort internationally, it is unlikely to convince Gillard or her conservative political opponents to change tack, given polls showing wide voter concern about border security.

She also criticised an "intervention" policy introduced by the former conservative government and continued by Gillard which places controls on welfare spending for Aborigines to help fight alcohol and child sex abuse in remote outback areas.

"In my discussions with Aboriginal people, I could sense the deep hurt and pain that they have suffered because of government policies that are imposed on them," she said.

Australia's 460,000 Aborigines make up about 2 percent of the population. They suffer higher rates of unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence than other Australians, as well as having a 17-year gap in life expectancy.


EDL member pleads not guilty to affray (UK)

A man from Birmingham has been charged with affray following ugly clashes at an English Defence League demonstration in Aylesbury in May last year.

Stuart Bates, aged 41, of Lazyhill, Kings Norton, was charged with affray by Thames Valley Police on May 5.

He was bailed and appeared at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he entered a not guilty plea to the charge.

The case was adjourned and the next hearing will be at Aylesbury Crown Court in July.

Bucks Herald

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Germany's far-right National Democratic Party must pay a 2.5-million-euro (3.5-million-dollar) fine for failing to declare part of its income, ruled a high court Monday. The ruling, by Berlin's higher administrative court, upheld a fine imposed on the NDP by the federal parliament, for filing erroneous tax returns in 2007. This penalty had previously been halved by a lower court, whose decision was overturned on Monday, reinstating the original 2.5-million-euro fine. The far-right party is on the verge of financial ruin because of earlier fines. It was forced to pay 870,000 euros in a previous court ruling on party funding records from the 1990s, and was also charged 33,000 euros by a court last December, for incorrectly declared income between 2004 and 2007. Monday's judgement came in response to an appeal process launched jointly by the NPD - who had hoped to annul the entire fine - and the parliament's administrative body, which oversees party funding. The law stipulates that parties are fined double the amount of any undeclared funding.


European neo-Nazi websites find home in US

The website is awash with neo-Nazi symbolism and even sarcastically refers to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp as Austria's largest open-air museum.

But attempts to cripple the xenophobic "Alpen-Donau" forum have been hindered by the fact it's housed on a U.S. server, an example of how free speech on one side of the Atlantic can help spread hate speech on the other.

Austria bans Nazi glorification and Holocaust denial. In the United States nearly unrestricted freedom of speech rights are considered a cornerstone of democracy.

Three people suspected of being behind the website were arrested in April, including Gottfried Kuessel, one of the Alpine republic's leading neo-Nazis. But until a couple of weeks ago it continued to spew extremist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Germany has also run into the problem of shutting down U.S.-hosted neo-Nazi websites.

Hungary has faced a similar hurdle for years, although hate speech is considered a crime there only if it incites specific acts of violence or abuse. Hungarian right-wing groups regularly target Gypsies and other minorities.

Austrian investigators have suggested that, for forensic reasons, it's in their interest that the website stay online for now because it provides them with vital clues in their probe aimed at tracking down remaining suspects.

But those personally targeted by the site want U.S. authorities to shut it down immediately.

"This is blatant anti-Semitism and blatant racism," said Willi Mernyi, president of the Mauthausen Committee, a Holocaust awareness group.

The website's latest posting features photos of Mernyi and implies he is to blame for acts of vandalism at the former concentration camp where the Nazis murdered about 100,000 people. The site has also posted pictures of teenagers who took part in workshops organized by the group, Mernyi said.

American officials say their hands are tied unless the site violates U.S. laws.

"I think it's fair to say we don't agree with what's on that website but we agree that free speech as defined by the United States takes precedence over what their views are," said an official familiar with the issue who asked not to be named.

The U.S. norm is that people are free to say anything as long as it doesn't infringe upon another person's rights. In Austria, freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution but is limited by a ban on propagating Nazi ideology. Inciting hatred on the basis of any ideology is a crime under the Austrian penal code.

Raimund Fastenbauer, a senior Jewish Community official, said American authorities have legal grounds to cooperate in taking down the site.

"In part, there have been some concrete threats we believe would be punishable under American law," Fastenbauer said, noting that postings have included not only photos but also personal phone numbers of Jewish community members, as well as veiled or coded calls for action against individuals.

Gerald Ganzger and Gideon Jabloner, lawyers at the firm Lansky, Ganzger & Partner who represent the Jewish community and threatened journalists, said Austria, under pressure from the United States and the other allied powers, enacted a law prohibiting the revival of Nazi activities as a precondition for sovereignty after World War II.

"However, nowadays it is the U.S. ... who is preventing Austria from enacting the aforementioned law by protecting the right of free speech of neo-Nazi groups," they wrote in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

The two countries do seem to be working together, if in a limited way.

In a press release dated April 12, Vienna's public prosecutor's office said that — "through cooperation with American authorities" — it obtained server access codes enabling them to monitor the website.

While the site was down for several weeks, it resurfaced with a slightly modified address in time to mark Adolf Hitler's birthday on April 20 and is now believed to be hosted by a server in Arizona. It has been idle since May 7, suggesting authorities may be making more progress or have even successfully caught the remaining culprits.

A video posted on the site claims it is "the only voice of truth" and says freedom of speech "applies only to leftists and friends of Jews."

"No one can stop us!" says another posting.

In neighboring Hungary, the government succeeded in July 2008 to temporarily shut the extremist kuruc.info website, saying at the time that it did so with help from U.S. authorities. Within six weeks it became active again, moving to another U.S. server, and has been online ever since.

The site is controversial because of its racist content, which includes anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy articles and imagery. It has also published mobile phone numbers and home addresses belonging to judges and prosecutors who were involved in court cases against people who took part in the country's anti-government riots of 2006.

In both countries, a longterm solution on how to deal with the situation seems far off.

Christian Pilnacek, director general for criminal law at Austria's Justice Ministry, said the problem lies predominantly with the evolving nature of cyberspace.

"It's a cat and mouse game but one that has more to do with technical advances than different legal systems," he said, noting that the issue would best be handled through international agreements.

But whether that's realistic remains to be seen.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested at a news conference after an April 14 meeting with European Union home affairs ministers in Hungary that one way to tackle the problem may be by making it clear to the public that extremist rhetoric is simply wrong.

"I think we have to come up with ways in which we have a counter-narrative that shows this information, this material, to be what it is ... harmful," Holder said.


White People Face The Most Racism? (USA)

A new study by researchers at Tufts University and Harvard Business School shows that whites believe they are victims of racism more often than Blacks.

While that may elicit a raised eyebrow from most people, the title of the study “Whites See Racism as a Zero-sum Game that They Are Now Losing,” shows that many whites believe that as racism against Blacks has decreased, racism against them has increased much more.

“It’s a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment,” said Tufts Associate Professor of Psychology Samuel Sommers, Ph.D., co-author of the study.

News One

Teens caged for EDL demo affray (UK)

Teenagers from Amblecote and Brierley Hill have been caged for their part in violence during a demonstration in Dudley.

A protest by the English Defence League (EDL) on July 17 last year turned ugly when objects including crowd control barriers were thrown at police officers who were being abused and spat on.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, James Everard, aged 19, of Armstrong Close, Amblecote and Jake Hill, 18, of Alexander Hill, Brierley Hill, admitted affray and were both sent to a young offenders institution - Everard for nine months and Hill for six months.

The pair, along with two other defendants were told by Judge Patrick Thomas QC: “This was not an afternoon's fun, it was a dangerous and unpleasant incident involving a mob attack on police officers doing their duty."

He said it was clear the offending was not linked to the march but towards officers who were present to protect citizens from threats and violence.

The judge added: "I do not think you were particularly concerned with the EDL, you took it upon yourselves to attack the police in a number of ways.

"You were involved in a significant and highly unpleasant and unnecessary public disorder and you tested the patience, self control and discipline of police officers under a hail of abuse and threats."

Mr Hugh O'Brien-quinn, prosecuting, said Everard had been aggressive while stamping on the barriers and he swore at police while Hill, who was carrying a St George's flag, spat at officers.

The Judge told the men: "Most of you claim not to have any involvement in the activities of the EDL. Most of you claim you were part of this gathering simply by chance or by curiosity."

But he stressed it was clear the affray was directed solely towards police officers who were on duty and concluded: "A drink fuelled mob is more dangerous than a sober one."

The court was told five other men have already been dealt with by courts for their part in the trouble with two more on the brink of being committed to crown court.

Stourbridge News

Monday, 23 May 2011

Far-right leader, Muslim come to blows on Bulgarian radio

Far-right leader and a Muslim lawmaker came to blows live on Bulgarian radio on Sunday as tempers frayed during a debate about an attack against a Sofia mosque earlier this week.

The presenter of a political talk show on national radio, Velichko Konakchiev, was forced to interrupt the show and apologise to listeners when the head of the ultra-nationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov, physically attacked fellow guest Korman Ismailov, a Muslim member of parliament.

"Never before have I had to separate people fighting in my studio. I've never seen anything like it," the veteran talk show host Konakchiev said at the end of the show.

Konakchiev said Siderov started the fight after he was asked to tone down his language during a debate on an incident in Sofia on Friday where Ataka supporters had clashed with worshippers outside a mosque.

Siderov repeatedly called the worshippers "Islamists" and "extremists".
The programme resumed after an initial interruption of several minutes. But when Siderov lost his temper again, Konakchiev asked the far-right leader to leave and ended the show prematurely.

In a statement, the head of national radio, Valery Todorov, condemned the incident.
"It is inadmissible to use national radio to propagate ethnic, religious or national hatred," Todorov said.

A Muslim, an Ataka lawmaker and five policemen were injured in the skirmishes between worshippers and far-right demonstrators on Friday in an incident that has drawn condemnation both at home and in neighbouring Turkey.

Two Ataka supporters have been charged with hooliganism in relation to the incident, prosecutors said.

Times of Oman

Second protest is expected in resort (UK)

An anti-fascist protest group has announced it will stage a rally in Blackpool on the same day as controversial far-right group the English Defence League.

Unite Against Facism (UAF) expects between 100 and 200 local members to attend the event which will take place as EDL members from across the country descend on the town on Saturday May, 28 for a national protest.

Paul Jenkins, North West organiser for the UAF, said their demonstration will be nothing more than a peaceful “anti-racist vigil”.

He said: “We want to show unity in the community is the best way forward.”

UAF will hold their protest at the public headland close to the Central Pier while the EDL demonstration is on the headline at South Pier.

The timings of the UAF protest are still under discussion.

EDL members, who say they are protesting against the police handling of the inquiry into missing Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes, are due to gather near Britannia Place at 10am before setting off for a short march along the Promenade to the public headland where a demonstration will be held from 12.45pm to 2pm.

Charlene, 13, disappeared in 2003 and two Asian men were charged with her murder and disposing of the body. They were later acquitted.

Chief Supt Richard Debicki, commander of western division, said the force had always prepared for two demonstrations.

Police say they do not expect there to be any clashes between the two groups.

He said police chiefs continue to work with council officers to ensure there will be as little disruption as possible in the town.

He added: “In addition to the EDL demonstration, the UAF have now also indicated a wish to demonstrate.

“The constabulary will facilitate any protest which is peaceful but we will deal firmly with anyone committing crime and disorder.

“Our role is about fair and balanced policing – we’re here to keep the peace, treat people with respect and dignity and uphold the law.”

Blackpool Gazette

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Bulgarian nationalist stage violent anti-Muslim protest in front of main mosque

Police say several people were injured as nationalists clashed with Muslims during Friday prayer at Sofia's main mosque.

Dozens of supporters of the far-right Ataka party staged the rally to protest what they call "the unbearable loudness" of the Muslim prayers that sound through loudspeakers in downtown Sofia.

Tensions escalated as protesters grabbed a prayer rug and set it on fire, leading to a fight between the two groups.

Four people were taken to the hospital with light injuries, the state news agency BTA reported. Ataka says one of its lawmakers was hit on the head by a stone.

Police say five officers were injured two protesters have been detained.

Google Hosted News


Muslims and anti-war campaigners have gathered to condemn what they see as a rising tide of Islamophobia in Britain and the rest of Europe. Supporters including Kenza Drider, who has deliberately defied the niqab ban in her native France, came to London Muslim Centre in east London for the event. Speaking through an interpreter, she said she wanted to "denounce the rise of Islamophobia in France". Ms Drider continued: "By putting this ban into place the government has encouraged racist people to physically threaten woman who wear the niqab." She says has been threatened with a knife for wearing garment, which covers a woman's face apart from her eyes. Chris Nineham, spokesman for event organisers the Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia, said a group of women campaigners from the UK plan to visit Paris in the next few months wearing the niqab as a gesture of solidarity.

The conference was attended by representatives from the Stop the War coalition, veteran left-wing politician Tony Benn and British campaigner Aisha Alvi. She was suspended from school for wearing a headscarf in 1989. Mr Nineham said: "This event is to discuss the seriously worrying developments in Europe and Britain whereby Muslim communities are being scapegoated and demonised. In France, Belgium and Switzerland laws are being passed to systematically discriminate against Muslims." He called for an overhaul of the British legal system, including anti-terror laws, as well as the way housing is allocated, to combat such discrimination in the UK.

Wales Online

Anti-Muslim French Presidential Candidate Surge After Sex Charges for Ex-IMF Boss

The rape charges against former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn are headline news across the world, but as Strauss-Kahn prepares for what could be a lengthy legal battle, France is preparing for a 2012 presidential election -- suddenly without the leading challenger to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Strauss-Kahn, a prominent member of the Socialist Party in France, was predicted to be his party’s candidate in 2012 and would have faced off against Sarkozy and his UMP party. Sarkozy, who has been floundering in polls, has been seen as a weak and ineffective president – a man who promised big change and has failed to deliver. But with Strauss-Kahn almost certainly out of the 2012 race, Sarkozy’s biggest challenge could come from Marine Le Pen, a candidate known for her nationalistic and anti-Muslim views.

Le Pen is the daughter of immigration foe and 2002 presidential runner-up Jean-Marie Le Pen. She has been gaining in the national polls and overall popularity. As voters in France prepare for a long year of presidential politics – could Le Pen’s candidacy also be a foreshadowing of what’s to come for the rest of Europe?

Jennifer Fredette of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy says Le Pen and her father’s views reflect a trend across the continent.

“It’s been going on for a while now. It’s all these critical little moments that get played up and people focus on them, like the burka ban, things that are visual and they spread,” Fredette told Fox News, referring to a controversial new French law that forbids women from going out in public with their faces covered. “You talk about it in France and then people in Germany say ‘oh we see that here. Is it the same here?’ There’s a trend of suspicion going on right now. Not just towards Islam and Muslims but immigration too.”

This item continues at Fox News

Austria far-right tops opinion polls

Austria's far-right Freedom Party, the FPOe, would win the most votes if there were a general election this weekend, according to the results of a new opinion poll released Friday.
The FPOe would secure 29 percent of the votes if there were a general election on Sunday, overtaking for the first time the Social Democrats with 28 pecent and the conservative People's Party or OeVP with 23 percent, according to a poll by the OGM institute on behalf of the daily Kurier.

The environmentalist Green party and another far-right party, the BZOe, would each win 13 percent of the votes.

The current coalition government under Social Democrat Chancellor Werner Faymann, which took power in December 2008, is made up of the Social Democrats and OeVP parties in a power-sharing deal.

The head of the OGM institute, Wolfgang Bachmayer, attributed the FPOe's current strength, not only to a wider disillusionment with politics, but with the current coalition government in particular.

Furthermore, “the showings have undoubtedly been influenced by the current debate over the statements by Erste Bank chief executive Andreas Treichl, the euro crisis and the Greek debt crisis,” Bachmayer told the newspaper.

Erste Bank chief Treichl triggered a storm of controversy this week by saying politicians were “too stupid” to understand the economy.

And FPOe leader Heinz-Christian Strache has been campaigning for months to kick Greece out of the eurozone.

Quizzed as to whom they would vote for if they could elect the chancellor directly, 24 percent of the poll's 805 respondents said they would choose the current chancellor Faymann, 18 percent the current deputy chancellor Michael Spindelegger and 16 percent would vote for Strache.

The FPOe came second in local municipal elections in Vienna last October, winning 26 percent of the votes. The ruling Social Democrats finally opted for a coalition with the environmentalist Greens.

A poll at the beginning of May suggested that 43 percent of the population wanted the FPOe to participate in the next national government following the next general elections in 2013.

The far-right has already been in government in Austria: the FPOe under its charismatic leader, the late Joerg Haider, was the junior coalition partner with the conservative OeVP between 2000 and 2006 under then chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel.

Tehran Times

Cultural fete planned after racism shock (UK)

Racist revelations in Sherwood have prompted concerned residents to plan an event promoting more integration.

Exposure by the Courier of anti-Muslim remarks on the Facebook pages of local English Defence League activist Adrian Ratcliffe and English Democrat candidate JoJo Stanley have led to calls for a festival of cultural diversity.

Ideas centred on a fete are being backed by social housing chiefs Town and Country, which said many residents had found content on the website both "racist and upsetting".

A spokesman said: "Residents felt that it was not a true reflection of life on the estate, which in their experience was a diverse and welcoming place to live.

"They wanted to counter any negative impression and felt the best way to do this would be to focus on the many positive things which make it such a friendly and inclusive place to live."

Plans to celebrate different races and cultures on the estate include proposals for a music and dance stage, along with marquees containing various attractions and diversity themes.

Inspiration has been gained from a recent Spirit of Kindness project in which more than 20 events celebrated all the good things that Sherwood residents did for each other.

It is hoped the initiative will help soothe tensions arising in the community following the exposure of Ratcliffe last month.

The 61-year-old, who lived in Greggswood Road and was a preacher at St Philip's Church in Sherwood, had denied he was racist but claimed he would do "whatever necessary" to fight "militant" Islam in the UK.

Nasir Jamil, president of the West Kent Muslim Association, said it welcomed efforts to improve cultural relations.

He said: "We always campaign for community cohesion. We have difficulty with negative propaganda all over the world and need these type of events."

Anyone wishing to contribute ideas or help out is invited to talks at the Robin Hood pub on Thursday, May 26 from 6pm. For more information call Brendan McGowan on 01892 523464.

This is Kent

English Defence League march to Islamic centre site (UK)

More than a hundred English Defence League protesters have marched through a Flintshire town to the site of a proposed new Islamic cultural centre.

The site at the Shotton Lane Social Club was burnt down in a suspicious fire in February.

Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society was planning to turn the property into a multi-cultural centre.

Police said their strategy ensured the protest passed off without incident.

Early reports had suggested between 200 and 300 people were taking part but police said it was just over 100.

The march ended with speeches outside the Shotton Lane Social Club before the protesters dispersed.

North Wales Police said they mounted an operation to combat any problems between rival factions working in partnership with Flintshire Council, British Transport Police and the local business community
Continue reading the main story

"People have a right to protest, but our priority is to safeguard the public”

End Quote Ian Shannon Deputy Chief Constable

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Shannon said: "I am pleased with the success of the police operation today.

"Our aim was always to allow the protest to pass peacefully whilst taking into account the rights of the people of Shotton to go about their normal business.

"I would like to thank them for their patience and understanding for any disruption that was caused.

"People have a right to protest, but our priority is to safeguard the public and maintain order, which I am pleased to say we achieved today."

Around 100 people had to leave their homes as firefighters fought the blaze on 4 February.

At the time police said they were keeping an open mind and would not been drawn on possible motives.

BBC News

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Hungarian Nazi war crime trial resumes

The trial of Hungarian Nazi war crime suspect Sandor Kepiro resumed on Thursday after physical and mental health checks showed the 97-year-old was fit enough to attend, even if extremely frail.

During the short hearing, Judge Bela Varga read out a statement dating back to 1948 by one of the soldiers - since deceased - whom Kepiro allegedly ordered to round up and shoot 30 people in the Serbian town of Novi Sad in 1942.

Kepiro, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, dismissed the statement as a "blatant lie", insisted he did not know the solider, named as Janos Nagy, and again denied any involvement in the killings.

Little information is available about Nagy, other than he was tried and sentenced to life for murder by a communist court in 1948.

The case against Kepiro rests almost exclusively on such written statements by soldiers who are now dead, as well as documents from a trial in 1942 in which Kepiro was found guilty in absentia.

Experts have argued that there were numerous errors and omissions in the translation of a number of those court documents, thus casting doubt on their reliability.

Deteriorating mental state

The Budapest court ruled that the latest trial could be resumed after medical examinations showed the defendant, while hard of hearing and very frail, was in full possession of his faculties.

"Sandor Kepiro's mental state is not impaired and he is able to understand and process information from outside," judge Varga said.

"Nevertheless, due to his advanced age, his mental state deteriorates rapidly after two sessions of 45 minutes," Varga said.

There would be three more days of hearings, with the next one scheduled for May 24, with a verdict expected on June 3, the judge explained.

Kepiro turned up in court on Thursday in a wheelchair and wearing a set of headphones that would enable him to hear the proceedings clearly.

He answered in the affirmative when the judge asked him whether he was able to hear and understand what had been said so far.

Facing life sentence

Kepiro - one of the last suspected Nazi war criminals to go on trial - is being tried in connection with a raid by Hungarian forces on Novi Sad between January 21 and 23 1942, in which more than 1 200 Jews and Serbs were murdered.

Specifically, he is charged, as head of one of the patrols involved in the raids, with having ordered the rounding up and execution of 36 people.

If found guilty, he could face a life sentence.

The former Hungarian gendarmerie officer was formerly number one on the list of wanted Nazi criminals by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

News 24

Facebook pages of Czech MP and mayor spreading racism

The Facebook page of Czech MP Jiří Šulc (Civic Democrats - ODS) features photographs next to a text calling for Czech Roma people to be resettled in Haiti. Czech Television reports the image was up for more than a year. Šulc claims to know nothing about it. After Czech Television pointed the photograph out to him, he removed it from his profile. The Facebook page of the Mayor of Kmetiněves, Luděk Kvapil, also features a similarly racist contribution.

Šulc claims to have no memory of placing the photograph, with the subtitle "If they want aid, let's make it real aid", on his profile page, even though he is listed as the page's author. "I know nothing about it, if something like that is there, I will have it removed," he told Czech Television. He refused a further interview and the photograph was gone by the afternoon.

According to Martin Šimáček, director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion of Roma, such photographs on the Facebook pages of politicians merely serve to incite tensions in the regions, which are already rather problematic as it is. He believes the incident may even rise to the level of a felony. "On the one had it is a racial attack on the Roma population in the Czech Republic, but it is also unacceptable given what has happened in Haiti," Šimáček said.

This is not Šulc's first problem with controversial pronouncements. Prior to the regional elections in October 2008, he put up posters with the slogan "Gadje [non-Roma people], get to work, so we [Roma] can have a better life". The case was investigated by police and shelved for lack of evidence that a crime had been committed.

Luděk Kvapil, the Mayor of Kmetiněves who was also a TOP 09 candidate in the March Senate by-elections, posted the following message on his Facebook wall on the International Day of the Fight against HOMOPHOBIA: "...on the level! Homosexuals do not bother me as long as they don't do anything offensive, but Gypsies certainly bother me completely!! even when they don't do anything offensive to piss people off - which basically doesn't exist!!! :-)))"

Kvapil then defended his racist opinions during a subsequent discussion when several Facebook users objected to the mayor's racism. He did not hesitate to continue to spread untrue rumors about the case of a death in Přerov. "The Gypsies in Přerov attacked and beat a boy at the train station after he complained they had cut in front of him in line. The boy succumbed to his injuries," Kvapil posted to Facebook on 12 May. In April police reported the incident in Přerov took place under completely other circumstances than those being described on the internet by racists.


Violent, racist attack on 12-year-old boy in Redditch (UK)

Police are hunting a man who attacked and racially abused a 12-year-old boy on a footpath in Redditch last night.

The boy was running on a path beside a stream off Needle Mill Lane on Thursday, May 19 at about 7pm when he was approached by a man near a footbridge.

The man punched him, threw him to the floor and then kicked him. During the assault he racially abused his victim and tried to throw him into the stream.

The boy managed to break free and ran for help. He was taken by ambulance to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch with cuts and bruising.

The offender was a white man described as around 30-years-old, of thin build with black, shoulder-length hair. He was wearing a grey sweat top and blue jeans.

PC Paul Lettis said: “This was a nasty and totally unprovoked attack by a stranger on a boy who was taking part in an organised run. We are carrying out inquiries in a bid to trace the offender and it is vital we hear from anyone who may have seen a man of this description in that area either before or after the incident.

“The smallest detail could be important to our investigation so if you saw or heard anything, or have any suspicion as to who might be responsible, then please get in touch.”

Witnesses or anyone with information should call police at Redditch on 0300 333 3000, quoting incident reference 603-S-190511, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Rdditch Advertiser


As European leaders increasingly question the concept of Europe without borders and follow each other in announcing the end of multiculturalism, the media response has been mostly to present migrants as destabilising Europe’s labour markets and welfare states.

The role of the media in the worsening image of migrants in Europe was debated in Budapest at a conference titled "Promoting Migrant Integration through Media and Intercultural Dialogue". The conference, organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union, ran from May 16-18, and was aimed at helping media representatives provide fair and balanced coverage of migration issues. With far-right, anti-immigration parties gaining strength throghout Europe, journalists have been signalled as frequent accomplices to rising xenophobia: "European public opinion is being pressed with the threat of a migration wave. Both politicians and journalists should recognise their mistakes," Czech sociologist Ivan Gabal told participants. Mircea Toma, president of Active Watch, a Romanian media monitory agency, mirrored a similar view: "Journalists often don’t look at events with an eagle eye, but rather with the same perspective as anyone in the population," he said. The increasing commercialisation of the mainstream media and the profit imperatives it imposes seem to be at the core of the lowering of quality in media coverage of migration related issues. "We certainly need some transparency rules to see where the funding is coming from and what are the political groups involved," Aidan White, former general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists told participants. "There is a crisis within the media, a financial crisis that is reducing the quality of training, of journalism, and ultimately journalists’ capacity to tell complex stories."

There is a harsh, competitive environment that is leading editors and journalists to violate codes of ethics. "If anti-immigration writing allows the media to stay in business, the media will go for it," Milica Pesic, executive director of the U.K.-based Media Diversity Institute warned. Still, blame should not be placed exclusively on the media, White said. "This is not just a problem of the media. Issues related to economic migration are complex, but lack of courage is leading to an unscrupulous form of politics. We are facing a general problem of societal anxiety about our healthcare, our education and our labour market." An anxiety which, participants agreed, has peaked with the Middle East revolts in general, and the Libyan crisis in particular. Since the beginning of what some have termed the ‘Arab Spring’, "no more than 30,000 people have arrived in Europe, but the reaction has been surprising," Kinga Goncz, vice-chair of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee told the conference. "This is not a large number but from reading the media you would think it’s a huge number. There’s a paranoid fear that these people will overburden Europe, while actually some of the economies that are better recovering from the crisis, like Germany’s, require even more migrants," she said. The latest crisis has also underlined the ethnocentrism of European media. "Eight hundred thousand people, overwhelmingly migrant workers, have fled from Libya and gone mostly to Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Chad and Algeria. This indeed represents a migration crisis, but it is not affecting Europe yet," Jean- Philippe Chauzy, head of the IOM’s Media and Communication Unit told IPS.

The message was, however, not that media should portray migrants positively; instead speakers stressed the need to ensure balanced and accurate reporting. "Journalists have prejudices of their own," Pesic said. "It’s very important to know the facts, figures and sources, but even when they have them, some papers will go out of their way to mislead." Concerns over lack of journalistic ethic were shared by more than one state official: "Journalists often have an agenda, in the ministries we often provide them with correct, written information and they still write it wrong or put things out of context," Paulina Babis from the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy told IPS. Yet some questioned why journalists would even begin by approaching officials and not give voice to those who remain mostly voiceless: "Migrants and their organisations should speak for migrants, not government officials," White said. "Journalists will go to the easiest available source, they don’t have time for much else. What we need is an alternative sources handbook that should be made available to them," he suggested. Journalists, civic actors and international and state officials agreed the solution lies in increased cooperation between the media and other societal actors. "Migration is a complex and changing issue and journalists have less and less time to develop expertise. They don’t have the resources to cover an issue which requires a comprehensive understanding of the context," Chauzy said, speaking to IPS. "The present context is one of economic downturn and growing unemployment, which is leading to polarisation. That’s why the media should get all the information it needs: biased coverage is less acceptable in an era when access to information is a lot easier than at any other time in history," he said.

 IPS Inter Press Services

Andrew Brons breaks ranks (BNP News, UK)

Andrew Brons Right
A Hope Not Hate article by Nick Lowles

Andrew Brons, the BNP’s Yorkshire & Humber MEP, has finally publicly broken ranks with Nick Griffin in a sign that could eventually lead to a split in the party. Brons has tried to appear neutral in the ongoing feuds that have engulfed the BNP over the past year but privately he has long taken the view that either Griffin has to go or a new party should be created.

Speaking on a nationalist website a couple of days ago, Brons announced that unless the current leadership has a complete change of heart and reforms the constitution he will be supporting Richard Edmonds’s leadership challenge.

Of course Brons does not believe a successful leadership challenge is likely, not least because Griffin has a knack of suspending or expelling any opposition to him. Even if it were, many do not believe that the BNP is a viable operation any more given the size of its debts. He does, however, believe that a strong challenge, which is likely to be met by a further crackdown by Griffin, could split the party.

There have been rumours about Brons launching a new far-right party for some time but the Yorkshire & Humber MEP has dithered for so long that some of his previous supporters have already left and joined the English Democrats.

Brons is a hardline racial nationalist and so there is no way he would follow the others into the English Democrats, but he has been desperate not to be the person who brings down the BNP. Rather, he hoped, the election results would be so terrible – which they were – and the debts so crippling that party members would turn to him as a saviour.

I’ve written a long article on all this in the new issue of Searchlight, which also carries our analysis of the 2011 election campaign. You can get the magazine here: https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/subscribe/

Hope Not Hate Blog

Friday, 20 May 2011

Academics may redefine antisemitism

The union which represents British academics has been accused of "hurting Jews" by proposing to reject a widely-used definition of antisemitism on the grounds that it stifles debate on Israel.

A resolution tabled for debate at its congress in Harrogate next weekend by the national executive of the University and College Union - which has been at the forefront of the boycott campaign against Israel - challenges the definition of antisemitism used by, among others, the National Union of Students.

UCU leaders claim that the description of antisemitism, drawn up several years ago by a European Union body known as the EUMC "confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and action with genuine antisemitism and is being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus".

According to the EUMC definition, antisemitism can take the form of denying Jews' right to national self-determination, applying double standards to Israel and comparing it with the Nazis.

But the document is also clear that using the same standards of criticism for Israel as for other countries does not constitute antisemitism.

The Community Security Trust's Mark Gardner said: "It proves, once again, that the UCU's executive are political extremists who care only about their ideological wars, including obsessively hating Israel and condemning mainstream political attempts to protect Jews from antisemitism."

The resolution, he said, would "comfort antisemites and hurt Jews".

A spokesman for the anti-boycott Fair Play Campaign said: "By attacking the working definition of antisemitism used by NUS, UCU is once again proving that Britain's students are more mature, more progressive and more committed to fighting racism then their increasingly extreme lecturers."

The UCU, asked to explain the reasons behind the resolution and provide evidence of suppression of debate about Israel, would say only that it expected "robust examination of motions in a whole host of areas".

The executive resolution also calls for "open debate on campus concerning Israel's past history and current policy, while continuing to combat all forms of racial or religious discrimination".

Four years ago UCU was forced to abandon attempts to embargo Israeli institutions after being warned that it risked legal action for racial discrimination. But only last year the congress expressed general support for boycott and sanctions against Israel.

NUS president Aaron Porter said, before the NUS vote on Israel, that the EUMC definition had been adopted by NUS to set boundaries of what constitutes antisemitism, while still allowing for legitimate debate and criticism of Israel. "All students have the right to study, socialise and live free from racism, fear and intimidation."

Professor David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at London's Birkbeck College, said: "If the UCU leadership believes these resolutions provide a benchmark for regulating debate on Israel, it is going to be disappointed. There is no consensus on where legitimate criticism of Israel ends and where antisemitism begins." 

The Jewish Chronicle

Maryland Passes Bill Requiring French Train Company to Disclose Its Holocaust History (UK)

Maryland passed legislation Thursday that requires a French rail company, as a condition for receiving a rail contract from the state, to disclose its role in transporting 76,000 people loaded in 76 cattle cars to their death in Nazi camps.

The legislation says Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francaise, or SNCF, France’s national railroad, must list specific details online about its role in the transportation that sent many Jewish people to death in Auschwitz and other notorious death camps. The state is the first to enact a law that would bring any company seeking a governmental contract to task for suspected Holocaust ties.

"We hope this legislation can become a national model sooner rather than later so that Holocaust survivors who are still with us can know that the atrocities inflicted upon their families and their people will remain in our minds, will never be forgotten and will never be repeated," Gov. Martin O'Malley said at a bill-signing ceremony.

The company had formally apologized to Holocaust victims in January, just months after the uproar from survivors and lawmakers about the company winning contracts.

“In the name of the SNCF, I bow down before the victims, the survivors, the children of those deported, and before the suffering that still lives,” Guillaume Pepy, the company’s chairman, during a ceremony at a railway station in Bobigny, a Paris suburb, the New York Times reported. The company was reportedly offering the station to local authorities for a memorial to the 20,000 Jews shipped from there to Nazi camps.

There have been calls for payments to Holocaust victims, and federal legislation named the Holocaust Rail Justice Act may require companies involved in the transportation to pay reparations.

“This legislation allows Maryland taxpayers to see exactly where their money is going,” Raphael Prober, the pro-bono attorney representing Holocaust survivors, said. “This allows transparency for the victims."

Prober said SNCF was paid “per head and kilometer” by the Nazis, and clear disclosure would bring victims and family members closer to justice.

"It's about bringing justice to the families," he said.

Fox News

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Jehovah's Witness leader charged with extremism in Russia's Volga region

Investigations in the Volga region city of Yoshkar-Ola have charged the head of a local Jehovah's Witness branch with inciting religious hatred, local investigators said on Wednesday.

The coordinator of the city's Jehovah's Witness church, which is estimated to have some 90 followers, is accused of disseminating extremist materials and conducting public sermons on the superiority of the religion over others.

Investigators say a large volume of materials was seized during searches. Experts established that two books and two brochures contain "slogans of an extremist nature."

The Jehovah's Witnesses, which has some 7 million followers worldwide and 300,000 in Russia, are banned in a number of Russian regions and in some former Soviet republics.

The Jehovah's Witnesses branch in Moscow was dissolved by district court ruling in 2004, but the European Court of Human Rights declared the decision illegal last June.

RIA Novosti

Document: Boy says neo-Nazi dad hit him, step-mom (USA)

A 10-year-old boy charged with murdering his white supremacist father told investigators that he shot the man after growing tired of him hitting him and his stepmother, court documents showed on Wednesday.

In the hours after the shooting, the boy told investigators he thought Jeff Hall, 32, was cheating on his stepmother and that he might have to choose who to live with, according to a police declaration filed in Riverside County.

The blonde-haired boy from Southern California told investigators he went into his parents' closet, pulled a revolver off a low shelf, went downstairs and aimed the gun at his father's ear while he was asleep and shot him. He later hid the gun under his bed, according to court documents.

"It was right there on the shelf," the boy told investigators, according to the police declaration filed Tuesday in support of an arrest warrant for his stepmother Krista McCary on nine felony charges of child endangerment and criminal storage of a gun.

A phone number for McCary, 26, could not be immediately located.

The declaration was made public on the same day that the boy — whom The Associated Press is not identifying and is not being charged as an adult — appeared in juvenile court for a hearing on the charge that he murdered Hall, a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement who led rallies at day labor sites and a local synagogue.

At the hearing, the juvenile court appointed a psychologist to advise the boy's defense attorney about his client's mental state. Deputy Public Defender Matt Hardy declined to comment on the allegations of abuse except to say that he was "exploring everything" in his defense of the boy.

The boy did not enter a plea and will return to court July 22.

McCary did not attend the boy's hearing Wednesday.

According to the police declaration filed in the case against McCary, Hall's dead body was found on the couch with a gunshot wound to the left side of his head on Sunday May 1.

In the hours after the shooting, McCary told investigators that Hall hit, kicked and yelled at his son to punish him for being too loud or getting in his way. She said he had also been violent against her and pushed and spanked the boy's younger sisters, the declaration said.

McCary also told detectives that Hall had taken his son target shooting when they went on a trip to the border, so he knew how to shoot guns, and "admitted that the revolver was on a low shelf where the kids had access to it," the declaration said.

"Those children knew where that gun was and they could reach it," said Ambrosio E. Rodriguez, senior deputy district attorney who is prosecuting the boy's murder case.

Investigators said the house located in a tidy cul-de-sac in the suburbs 60 miles east of Los Angeles was filthy, with dirty clothing covering the floors and a stench of urine in the bedrooms. Empty beer bottles were strewn across the downstairs and National Socialist Movement and California flags were hanging in the living room.

In the garage, investigators found a .22 caliber rifle leaning against a wall and an unlocked cabinet about 10 feet away with ammunition.

Investigators reported that three of the five children living in the home knew where the couple kept their gun.

The boy's four sisters were placed in protective custody following the shooting.

Hall — who said he was proud to fly the swastika and believed in a white breakaway nation — was widely known in Riverside for organizing neo-Nazi protests and his failed bid last year for a seat on the local water board. His candidacy frightened many residents in the suburban region, which experts say has seen a rise in hate groups.

Court records show Hall and his ex-wife Leticia Neal slugged through a divorce and dispute over the custody of their two children nearly a decade ago. Each accused the other of child abuse. In 2003, the boy and his sister were removed from Neal's home when her 3-month-old twins by another father were hospitalized for failing to thrive.

Hall's children had bruises and injuries but social workers could not determine their origin or the extent of any abuse.

Hall was granted custody of the children in 2004.

Last year, Neal filed for joint custody, saying Hall's neo-Nazi ties made her "scared of what will happen to my kids."

Hall opposed the request, noting the children had not received a call from their mother in six years and were now doing better in classes and participating in after-school activities, according to court filings in the custody case.

The boy was being taught at home as a pupil of the River Springs Charter School.

The day before Jeff Hall's death, he held a regular meeting of members of the National Socialist Movement at his home.

Google Hosted News

Notorious Auschwitz sign repaired after 2009 theft

The notorious sign spanning Auschwitz's main gate, which was stolen and cut into pieces in a 2009 heist, has been welded back together and restored almost to its previous condition, officials said Wednesday.

Conservation workers at the site of the former Nazi death camp said they have worked for nearly a year and a half photographing, analyzing and finally welding back together the pieces of the badly damaged sign bearing the cynical Nazi slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free).

The theft — which occurred on a bitterly cold night in December 2009 — shocked Holocaust survivors and many others committed to preserving the Auschwitz-Birkenau site and the memory of the atrocities that Nazi Germany committed there during its occupation of Poland.

"The theft and destruction of the Arbeit Macht Frei sign was a symbolic attack on remembrance," Piotr Cywinski, the director of the memorial site in southern Poland, said on Wednesday in announcing the completed restoration.

"The perpetrators nearly achieved their heinous goal, but they did not succeed."

Agnieszka Zydzik-Bialek, who led the conservation work, said the sign was in very bad shape when it arrived in her workshop. The thieves had not only cut it into pieces, they also had bent and fractured its metal tubes, she said.

Experts had to reverse not only the bent metal, but also "twisting and crushing," she said. "Many of the components were deformed, and the surface of the sign was scratched and dented."

Officials at the site said the restored sign will probably be eventually moved to an exhibition hall which is under development, but a final decision has not been made.

A replica of the sign presently stands in its place.

After the sign was stolen, police found it three days later cut into pieces in a forest on the other side of Poland.

A Swedish man with neo-Nazi ties, Anders Hogstrom, was found guilty of instigating the theft and is now jailed in his homeland. Five Poles also have been convicted of involvement and imprisoned.

Still, many questions surround the motive for the crime. There has been speculation that the group might have stolen the sign on behalf of a collector, but Polish officials investigating the case have never divulged all the details, citing an ongoing investigation.

Between 1940 and 1945 more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, or died of starvation or disease while forced to perform hard physical labor at the camp.

Google Hosted news

Far-right Catalans making waves across crisis-hit Spain

It's a blunt campaign message - a video shows three attractive young women in miniskirts skipping with a rope in the Spanish city of Igualada, to the accompaniment of a traditional Catalan folk song. Suddenly, the image changes to "Igualada 2015" and shows three women dressed in burkas skipping to the rhythm of an Arab song.

"You can avoid this nightmare becoming reality. In Igualada, vote Plataforma per Catalunya," the video concludes.

Plataforma per Catalunya is a far-right party created nine years ago by former supporters of General Francisco Franco in the north-eastern industrial province of Catalonia, and running in Sunday's regional elections in Spain.

Last year the party gained almost 3 per cent of the vote in the regional elections and now expects to increase its local vote five-fold, going from 17 to more than 100 council members across Catalonia and possibly winning control of some cities.

Plataforma per Catalunya is riding a growing wave of anti-immigration sentiment, where many blame foreigners - 12 per cent of the Spanish population - for rising crime and a lack of jobs, in a country with 20 per cent official unemployment.

"We didn't have much money so I did this video to create an impact, but I never imagined the huge reaction it would provoke," Roberto Hernando, the party's number two candidate and director of the video, told The Scotsman yesterday.

"We keep getting e-mails and letters from people across Spain begging us to expand nationally.

"With this crisis we shouldn't allow more immigrants into the country, especially Muslims who want to impose their culture upon others."

Along with many people from the poorer South American countries, Spain has seen an influx of immigrants from north African countries such as Morocco.

Mr Hernando says his party is in close touch with other European extremists, including Austria's FPO led by Heinz-Christian Strache, Filip Dewinter from the Belgian Vlaams Belang party and the Italian Northern League, with the idea of forming a unified force in Europe in the future.

But he prefers not to comment on the Francoist past of his party's leader, Josep Anglada, a former disciple of fascist figure Blas Piñar, or the resignation of the party's former secretary-general in 2003 after accusing Mr Anglada of having links with neo-Nazi groups.

This past has not prevented the Plataforma per Catalunya from growing in Catalonia to the point that Spain's main opposition, the conservative Popular Party (PP), has adopted an anti-immigration platform in some cities to stave off its challenge.

This item continues at the Scotsman

Scotland: hate crime figures rise to highest in five years

Religious and racist bigots will face zero intolerance, warn country's first minister and solicitor general

One of Scotland's most senior prosecutors has said there will be "zero tolerance" of religious and racist bigots after the latest hate crime figures showed a 10% increase in charges for sectarianism.

Frank Mulholland QC, the solicitor general, said religious bigotry was being tackled by an "extremely robust" prosecution policy after the number of cases reported to prosecutors increased to nearly 700 last year, the highest level in five years.

The latest statistics, which also showed that charges of racism reported to prosecutors fell by 3.6% to 4,165, follows the dramatic escalation in sectarian attacks and disputes in recent months centred on Glasgow's Celtic and Rangers football clubs.

Two men were arrested last week for explosives offences after allegedly being involved in a parcel bombing campaign against Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other prominent Catholics, including Lennon's lawyer, and an Irish republican group.

Rangers and Celtic fans are being prosecuted for alleged bigotry and racist offences on the internet and at football matches.

Earlier this week it emerged that the former Rangers' director and prominent lawyer Donald Findlay QC was sent a knife in the post.

Alex Salmond, speaking in the Scottish parliament as he was confirmed as first minister of Scotland, said the country should be proud of its reputation for hospitality and religious and racial tolerance, not for bigotry.

Clearly shaken by the damage caused to his party's message that Scotland is inclusive and multi-ethnic, he told the parliament that being Scottish included those Catholics who fled famines in Ireland.

This item continues at The Guardian

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Nazi hunters call on Belgium's justice minister to be sacked

Jewish Nazi hunters have called for Belgium's justice minister to be sacked after he backed an amnesty for thousands of Second World War Belgian collaborators. 

Stefan De Clerck, a Flemish Christian Democrat, has polarised Belgium, fuelling the country's one year political crisis, by supporting a blanket amnesty for the 56,000 Belgians who were convicted of collaborating with the Nazis after the war.

"Perhaps we should be willing to forget, because it is the past. At some point one has to be adult and be willing to talk about. perhaps to forget, because this is the past," he said at the weekend.

The Simon Wiesenthal centre has sent a letter to Yves Leterme, the Belgian Prime Minister, accusing the minister of a "betrayal of history, his obfuscation of its lessons and his contempt for the very concept of justice."

Around 25,000 Belgian Jews were deported to Auschwitz from the Mechelen army barracks, north of Brussels, after being rounded up by authorities that often enthusiastically collaborated with the Nazis despite strong resistance from Belgium's people.

Only 1,207 survived and in 2007 the Belgian state he Belgian state apologised for "a collaboration unworthy of a democracy with a policy that was disastrous for the Jewish population".

Read the rest of this item at The Telegraph


French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno on Monday announced the setting up of a committee to fight against discrimination in sports headed by former Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel. "We can't say whether discrimination is on the rise. In any case, they are being revealed more often," Jouanno said. "Internet has freed speech and made discrimination more visible." The committee made up of 40 people will be divided into two working groups, one overseeing legal matters and the other focusing on education. "We have a tendency to trivialize discriminatory comments and gestures," said Guadeloupian Flessel, a five-time Olympic medallist, who claimed she had "suffered (from discrimination) at the beginning of her career". She added: "We have to educate and if necessary to take action."

The initiative follows on from a charter against homophobia in sports launched last year by former Sports Minister Rama Yade with Jouanno deciding to extend its functions to racist and sexual discrimination. French football was embroiled in a race row in recent weeks after a transcript of a meeting last November was released in which top officials discussed introducing quotas on the number of dual-nationality players at youth training centres.


Hate crimes against gays, transgenders on rise: UN

Hate crimes against gays, bisexuals and transgenders are on the rise around the world, said Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, and urged governments to do more to eliminate prejudice based on sexual orientation.

Marking the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia Tuesday, the UN commissioner urged governments to do ‘much more’ to eliminate discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

‘No one is entitled to treat a group of people as less valuable, less deserving or less worthy of respect. Each and every one of us is entitled to the same rights, to the same respect and ethical treatment, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity,’ Xinhua quoted her as saying.

She said homosexuality and transsexualism have been present in all societies throughout human history. ‘Homophobia and transphobia are no different from sexism, misogyny, racism or xenophobia. History shows us the terrible human price of discrimination and prejudice,’ she added.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Neo-Nazi speech-giver in Czech Republic is a policeman who lectures at schools in Slovakia

The residents of Trnava, Slovakia probably never thought their school-aged children would ever be listening to lectures by uniformed municipal police officer Marián Mišún (31). Mišún is best known for his boldly extremist approach and statements in which he publicly speaks of Roma people as "asocial Gypsy parasites" and calls for the institution of labor camps and forced sterilization. He is also infamous in the Czech Republic for giving a racist speech at a neo-Nazi event in Nový Bydžov this past March. The Slovak Prosecutor will be pursuing charges against him for that speech.

According to the Slovak association People against Racism (Lidé proti rasismu), a person with Mišún's opinions should not be on a municipal police force. His commanding officer, Igor Keleši, says he is an exemplary police officer and will only be released from service if charged.

Mišún's obviously racist statements are just "indicators" in Trnava

"I consider myself a promoter of Dubček-era socialism with a human face which also takes national interests into account," Marián Mišún told the Slovak internet daily Pluska.sk. The news server reported that Mišún believes the "Roma question" should be answered as follows:

"I would send parents who endanger the morals of their children to labor camps where they would eat only what they could grow themselves and their children would be taken away from them. Obviously mentally retarded individuals who are not supervised should be placed in institutions so their uncontrollable reproduction does not occur."

"I am glad Marián Mišún is so blunt. Thanks to his statements we won't have to convince anyone of what would happen to basic human rights if public power were ever placed in the hands of the extreme right. Mišún voluntarily admits it of his own accord... All that's missing is for him to say that in the spirit of his concept, only specimens of strong, white individuals should be permitted to exist and to be recognized by the state," Irena Biháriová of People against Racism said in response to Mišún's statements.

Mišún has been a municipal police officer in Trnava for four years. He recently lectured on police topics at one of the elementary schools there - for example, on who thieves are. "The Trnava Town Hall does have an ethical codex in place for its employees, but will not concern itself with Mišún," Slovak radio station Expres reported. Town hall spokesperson Pavel Tomašovič said Mišún's public dissemination of hateful opinions was merely an "indicator": "I do not have the relevant information needed to let him go, it can't be done on the basis of indicators, the Labor Law takes precedence over the ethical codex." On the basis of these "indicators", the town will supposedly ban Mišún from lecturing in the schools. "Given his publicly presented opinions, the town will halt that activity," Tomašovič told news server Pluska.sk.

Mišún gave a racist speech in the Czech Republic too

This item continues at Romea

Probe into soldiers’ far-right EDL photos

Defence chiefs are investigating a claim that soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment have been photographed showing their support for a far-right anti-Islam group.

Several pictures are under investigation.

One shows soldiers from regiment – which recruits in Cumbria – posing next to the flag of the English Defence League (EDL) at a homecoming parade for the regiment in Blackburn last year.

Eight soldiers are seen standing next to the flag, bearing the words: “EDL supports Duke of Lancaster Regiment.”

Another more controversial picture shows a uniformed solider, allegedly in Helmand Province, his face hidden by a black scarf as he brandishes a pistol and stands in front of before the EDL flag.

An active branch of the organisation hit the headlines in Carlisle last month when one of their members was jailed for publicly burning the Koran in the city centre.

The pictures – which have not yet been confirmed to be genuine – could help radicalise some Muslim, and inflame divisions between Islam and the West.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that an investigation was now underway, but suggested that some of the soldiers who appear in the photos may have been hoodwinked into posing next to the EDL flag.

“Individuals are free to join political parties but they’re not permitted to take an active role in political campaigning and must abide by our values and standards in all they do,” she told the News & Star.

“Instances of unacceptable behaviour in the armed forces are investigated, and appropriate action taken – up to and including dismissal.

“An investigation is already underway into allegations that individuals have breached army regulations through their involvement with the EDL.”

Kevin Caroll, 41, who is joint EDL leader, said the organisation was opposed to racism, but the Cumbrian branch is currently publishing an on-line video crammed with anti-Islamic slogans.

The first of these shows a medieval crusader in battle armour, under the slogan: “Jihad works both ways.” Another slogan tells viewers: “Let the crusade begin.”

Patrick Mercer, a former chairman on the Commons counter terrorism sub-committee, urged servicemen to steer clear of the EDL. He said the pictures could be used as propaganda by extremists in Afghanistan. “That could only damage our cause,” he said.

News & Star


The Public Chamber urged the Prosecutor General's Office to ban an anti-Semitic publication favored by Adolf Hitler on Friday, just weeks after Moscow prosecutors found it to be of "historical and educational" value. The chamber's secretary, Yevgeny Velikhov, asked Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to open an investigation into the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the rights watchdog said on its web site. The book, first released in 1903 by a tsarist-era anti-Semitic newspaper, details the Jewry's purported plans of world domination. The book has since been exposed as a forgery based on a 19th-century political pamphlet by French political satirist Maurice Joly, but has nevertheless become a staple of anti-Semitic literature. It was taught in schools in Nazi Germany.

Chaika's office did not comment on the request over the weekend. But his subordinates ruled in March that "Protocols" did not fan ethnic hatred, and its content was "politically and historically educational," the Public Chamber said. The ruling was passed by Moscow's Northern Administrative District Prosecutor's Office and later upheld by the City Prosecutor's Office, it said. Both refused to place "Protocols" on a federal list of extremist materials, citing an unspecified "psychological examination" of the book, it said. The Public Chamber based its own request on an appeal by two prominent members of the Academy of Sciences, Yury Pivovarov and Valery Tishkov, who criticized the ready availability of "Protocols" in Russia, including at the prominent Books of Russia fair earlier this year.

"This book is often called the banner of anti-Semitism," Vera Alperovich, an analyst with the Sova anti-xenophobia watchdog, said by telephone Friday. But she admitted that even Sova's experts were divided on the issue. "We fear that if the book is banned, it might provoke a backlash from anti-Semitic groups who would blame Jews for banning the book," Alperovich said.

Moscow Times

Anti-racism social project for Euro 2012 kicks of in Ukraine

National social project "Come Together " organized for Euro 2012 Soccer Championship launched on Monday in Kiev, the information centre "Ukraine 2012" announced on its website.

The main aims of the project are attracting youth to healthy life style and combating discrimination in all its forms. Organizers plan to show the society the damage which racism can cause.

In this campaign the volunteers will conduct ideological work against racism and xenophobia, said Sergey Gluschenko, a deputy chairman of Ukrainian Government Service of Youth and Sports.

"Now we are conducting a wide campaign for Euro 2012. We want to draw the attention of children, youth and all the fans to racism and xenophobia. This phenomenon has no place in society, especially in children's minds," he said at the "Come Together" project opening.

Video reels against discrimination will be shown on the national TV channels in Ukraine. Volunteers conduct educational conferences and seminars on racism. Domestic celebrities will also take part in the campaign, according to the project organizers.

Euro 2012 Soccer Championship will be held in Ukraine and Poland between June 8 and July 1 next year.

People Daily

Rally to oppose far right racism (New Zealand)

Organisers of two anti-racism marches have agreed to come together next week for one "massive counter-rally" against a far-right group.

Thousands have indicated on the organisers' Facebook site that they will take part in the rally in central Auckland on May 27, and the event is also fuelling a high level of interest on some Chinese online forums.

The Right Wing Resistance is distributing flyers in Auckland, Christchurch and New Plymouth claiming an Asian invasion is taking place.

Leader Kyle Chapman said the group was against Asian immigration because Asians "stole jobs" and "destroyed white New Zealand culture and heritage".

Susan Zhu, a local Chinese community leader who is promoting the protest, said, "Our rally is to say that this city does not tolerate racism.

"We just want people from different cultures to be celebrating New Zealand as one harmonious, multicultural country where diversity is welcomed."

The rally at 11am on Friday week in Aotea Square would include speeches and Asian cultural performances, she said.

The Right Wing Resistance has said on its website it will not be marching in Auckland, but is planning for "activism in Auckland and other cities for the [general] election".

The group claims its "stop the Asian invasion" flyer campaign has been "the most successful right-wing campaign ever".

"The plan to target high-income areas paid off. Man, them people love to moan and complain ... better to put a hundred flyers in rich letterboxes than 10,000 in the lower income."

Meanwhile, the police will hold meetings in the coming weeks with various Asian communities in Auckland to reassure them that they do not have to fear the right-wing "radicals".

"We shouldn't live in fear," said Superintendent Wally Haumaha, head of Maori, Pacific and ethnic services, "and we shouldn't sit back and think these people are going to inflict harm, because the moment they even consider stepping towards that, the police will take a hard line and ensure that any breaches of the law will be dealt with in an appropriate way.

"It's well known that the Right Wing Resistance are a small group who do tend to make noises from time to time.

"But I would think that most well-intentioned people in this country would not take too much notice or cognisance of what is being said by these radicals."

Police Asian liaison officer Raymond Wong, who has already been meeting members of the Asian community since news of the anti-Asian flyers broke, said many were feeling disappointed.

"Many said they are disappointed that there are such strong anti-Asian views around, because they moved here thinking it was a warm and welcoming country," Mr Wong said.

"Some are just wondering what they, or the community, have done to deserve such an attack."

Asians made up 9.2 per cent of the population in the 2006 Census. In Auckland, nearly one in five (18.9 per cent) people are Asian, the highest proportion in the country.

But immigration from China has slowed since its peak in 2003, and declined last year from 2009.


Monday, 16 May 2011

Five in court after Blackburn EDL rally (EDL News, UK)

AN English Defence League supporter attacked a police horse, punching it eight times during last month’s demonstration in Blackburn.

Robert Gavin Tromans was one of five people to appear at the town’s magistrate court on Friday in connection with disorder during the rally.

Tromans, 29, of Beverley Road, West Bromwich, attacked the horse as police formed a mounted cordon to control a crowd on Northgate.

He pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour and was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report with a warning a custodial sentence could not be ruled out.

Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said Tromans, a former soldier, was a supporter of the EDL but not a member and had attended the rally with an organised coach party.

“His intention was to get back to his coach and not to cause any trouble,” said Mr Church-Taylor.

Also appearing in court was David Monks, 34, of Haydock Street, Bolton, who pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour.

He was made subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 8pm and 6am for 91 days.

The court heard a man attending the rally in Blackburn was punched unconscious by fellow supporters after heckling one of the speakers.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said CCTV of the incident showed Monks throwing a punch but it did not show whether it connected.

“The other man was in fact punched unconscious but not necessarily by this defendant,” said Miss Allan.

Lisa Swales, 27, of Eastfield Gardens, Bradford, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer during the rally.

She suddenly lunged forward and grabbed his testicles, the court heard.

She was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, made subject to community supervision for 12 months with a condition she attends the stop binge drinking programme.

Susan Bowden, defending, said Swales had attended the demonstration with a group of friends but wasn’t involved with the EDL.

Thomas James Ferguson pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour after being ordered to leave the rally.

He was drunk, became abusive and swung a punch at an officer before he was arrested.

Ferguson, 22, of Cherry Tree Guest House, Islington, Blackburn, also pleaded guilty to theft from a shop and two offences of failing to answer bail.

He was jailed for 28 days.

Patrick Joseph Doyle, 48, of Cobourg Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

He had caught the officer on the temple and knocked his helmet off, the magistrates were told.

Lancashire Telegraph

Curfew for man who threw punch (EDL news, UK)

A man from Bolton was given a curfew order by magistrates after he threw a punch while attending an English Defence League rally in Blackburn.

A court was told how a man was being escorted out by stewards for heckling one the speakers when he was punched by a number of fellow supporters.

David Monks, aged 34, of Haydock Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour before Blackburn magistrates and was made subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 8pm and 6am for 91 days.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said CCTV of the incident showed Monks throwing a punch but it did not show whether it connected.

“The other man was in fact punched unconscious but not necessarily by this defendant,” said Miss Allan.

Mr Michael Blacklidge, defending, said: “The irony is that this happened between EDL supporters who fell out amongst themselves.

Bolton News

Protesters clash at anti-Muslim rally in Melbourne (Australia)

Muslim groups are worried by a new nationalist organisation that claims Australia is in danger of being Islamicised.

Australian Defence League supporters clashed with Left-wing protesters in the city yesterday as the group held its first local rally, sparking a warning from the Baillieu Government that bigotry would not be tolerated.

A small team of police initially kept the groups apart, but ADL supporters were forced to end their protest early when activists encircled them and tore up placards.

The ADL is an offshoot of the English Defence League, which has staged demonstrations in areas of high Muslim concentration in the UK.

About 40 ADL members, including women dressed in mock hijabs, protested in Federation Square yesterday over issues such as the certification of halal meat and concern sharia law would be introduced.

Protest organiser Martin Brennan claimed the group had 1400 members but denied it was anti-Muslim.

"We are not racist whatsoever, we are against radical Islam infiltrating Australia," he said.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said the group was provocative and wrong to believe that most Australian Muslims wanted to bring in sharia law.

"It's of great concern that anyone is out there trying to disrupt the peaceful social fabric of Australia," he said.

Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Nazeem Hussein said the ADL's views were uninformed and saddening.

State Multicultural Affairs Minister Nick Kotsiras said the Government did not tolerate racism, bigotry or the incitement of hatred.

"Activities which undermine the multicultural harmony of Victoria will be dealt with swiftly," he said.

The ADL protest was swamped by the much bigger group of activists and unionists who shouted anti-racism slogans.

Anti-racism protester Mick Armstrong, from Socialist Alternative, said the ADL was trying to copy the tactics of its British counterpart.

"They have had their protest and we have ended it," he said.

Herald Sun

Man beaten with iron bars in racist attack (UK)

A man has been assaulted by an armed gang in South Belfast, in what police believe was a racially motivated attack.

The victim was attacked by three males in the Florenceville Drive area of the Ormeau Road at 12pm on Saturday.

Two of the attackers struck the man repeatedly with iron bars, while a third man tried to cut the victim with a knife.

He was later treated in hospital for cuts and bruising.

The attackers are all described as being in their early 20s and around 6' tall.

The first attacker is thought to be of medium build with short ginger hair. He was wearing a blue hooded top, black tracksuit bottoms and white trainers, and carrying black handled knife.

The second man is described as being of heavy build with short blonde hair. He was wearing a black coat and blue jeans.

The third attacker is thought to be of heavy build with short dark hair and light coloured clothing.


Community praised following racist demonstration (EDL news, UK)

A multi-cultural community has been praised for the way it reacted to a racist demonstration.

Police have also been applauded for the way in which they dealt with the flash demo outside a Darlington mosque by members of the English Defence League (EDL).

Three people were arrested after about 30 members of the EDL gathered outside the Jamia Mosque on North Lodge Terrace on Saturday at 4.20pm.

It is believed they had attempted a similar demonstration in Middlesbrough earlier in the day before moving on to Darlington.

The group chanted nationalistic slogans and, according to witnesses, intimidated local residents.

However, the group was dispersed by police who arrived in large numbers to control the demonstration and then remained in the area for the rest of the night to prevent any re occurrence.

Read the full item at The Advertiser


Earlier this year 'Zorba the Greek' composer publicly described himself as ‘anti-Israel and anti-Semitic,’ blamed ‘Zionists’ for Greece’s economic woes.

The president of Austria’s National Council pulled the plug on the song “Mauthausen Trilogy,” which was slated to be sung at a Holocaust remembrance event in Vienna on May 5, because of the songwriter’s anti-Jewish statements. Barbara Prammer said that she was “made aware of alleged anti-Semitic statements from Mr. Theodorakis,” and that “without being able to examine the content” decided to change the music program, Austrian media reported late last week. Mikis Theodorakis achieved global fame with his musical score to the 1964 film Zorba the Greek. Earlier this year, he declared on Greek television that he was “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.” “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists,” the composer said. He asserted that “American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.” Theodorakis also slammed Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for establishing closer relations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of “war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.”

The “Mauthausen Trilogy” was composed by the 86-year-old member of the Greek Communist Party in 1965 to the poem by Mauthausen death camp survivor Iakovos Kambanellis (1922-2011). Recordings of the “Trilogy” have been translated into Hebrew. Victor Eliezar, a spokesman for the Greek Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, “After the cancellation, the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece issued an announcement expressing respect for Theodorakis’s composition of “Mauthausen,” but also grief because of his recent anti- Semitic remarks.” The composer published an open letter defending his hatred of Zionism, but denied that he was anti- Semitic, according to Eliezar. “Theodorakis sent a letter to the board, that was published in the Greek media, in which he tried to prove that he is not an anti-Semite, he is a friend of the Jewish people and he hates anti-Semitism as he hates Zionism. At the end of his letter he claims that his recent remark during an interview that ‘I am anti- Semite’ was just a wrong use of word,” Eliezar wrote.

Karl Pfeifer, an Austrian Jewish journalist and a leading expert on modern anti- Semitism in Central Europe, told the Post, “Theodorakis is a self-confessed anti-Semite. But at the same time he is also a great composer. So it is justified to oppose his anti-Semitism. But how about his music? Should we also reject the music of Chopin because he was an anti-Semite? “Should we not concentrate on really important issues? Is it a victory that his music will not be played in a city where the city council one year ago unanimously condemned Israel because of the killing of nine violent Turkish Islamists? So many questions and no answer.” Pfeifer’s reference was to the Vienna city council’s resolution blasting Israel for its seizure of the Gaza protest flotilla last May. The council was the first European legislative body to unanimously blast Israel’s measures against violent jihadists aboard the Mavi Marmara. Israeli Ambassador Aviv Shir-On told the Post at the time he told the speaker of the Vienna city council that the resolution was “onesided” and that “if the the Arab countries in the UN said the earth was flat, they would take it as part of their resolution.” The resolution prompted a number of Jews to resign from the Austrian Social Democratic party.

Jerusalem Post